April 7

2015 Scion FRS – Electrical System Repairs



Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, I really conflated that one. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing pretty good.

Mark: So 2015 Scion FRS, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle had some electrical issues, now you might wonder, it’s a 2015 and I’ll just tell you that it had less than 30,000 kilometres, so why would an independent auto repair shop be repairing electrical issues on a vehicle that’s only two year old, that is still covered by warranty and the answer is that the owner put in aftermarket lights, LED lights all around the vehicle and it kept blowing fuses whenever you turn the park and taillights on. The fuse would pop. So that’s what’s going on with this vehicle. And so, once you install aftermarket parts, your warranty is not valid for that particular issue, of course the engine warranty is still valid, but the electrical system would be at your own, now it’s your own thing.

Mark: So what did you find?

Bernie: Well, what we found, it was a rather lengthy diagnosis, and I’ll just explain a few of the procedures before I talk about findings. So of course, testing we verify yes the fuse is blowing. We then went to isolate all the tail lights, front lights, we went to isolate all the different parts of the lighting system and we unhooked the lights, we tested them all individually, they’re all working and found there’s no power drains. but when we went to power up the whole circuit, of course it was overloaded. So through a long and lengthy process we found that there was some side marker lights that had been installed, someone had soldered some wiring joints together and didn’t tape the joints properly so the wires were touching each other. I mean, it’s great that they used solder because that’s something we always recommend and so that’s a good job but not taping then and insulating them properly caused this whole problem and several hundred dollars worth of repair to the customer. So I’ll just share a few photos here, so what we’ve got, here’s our car, 2015, it’s a nice car. The owner did a few modifications, suspension and so they’re nice cars right from the factory, but with a few modifications it worked really well. This is the aftermarket LED tail light, this is the side marker light held on with tape by the way because it doesn’t fit properly. These are some of the front, these are some of the other LED bulbs, we actually eliminated these because the upper ones are little 194 equivalents for the license plate lights, one wasn’t working properly, the front ones only work as turn signals and not park lights as they’re supposed to. And here we finally get to our bad solder joint. So this right here, it’s a bit of a blow up, not super sharp, these are the wires that have been soldered onto the original wiring harness for the side marker lights and what I found when I took it apart was tape wrapped around it but these two wires had actually touched together so the taping job was improper. When you’re doing wiring work, you really do need to make sure you tape everything properly, as I said it’s great that someone soldered it because a lot of people just wrap the wires with these crappy butt splice connectors which come apart. But anyway. So I went to the other side, the other market light, even though that was working fine, just to verify that the repair had been done properly and it was, so the customer should have no further issues with that particular issue.

Mark: So basically it comes down to a do-it-yourselfer crappie workmanship.

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. We also take the time when we do work in our shop to solder wiring connections, there are some times when you can’t do it, but 99% of the time you can. We solder, we use heat shrink tubing or make sure that we tape it extremely well because the last you want to do is have a problem like this come back, you want it to be done right and last for a long long time.

Mark: So what do you think about using the aftermarket LED bulbs?

Bernie: I don’t think they’re worth it, you know in this case, this whole thing created a lot of issues for the customer. Is there any advantage over this virus the bulbs that came in the car, no, you know, just costing more in the end and no, the bulbs don’t look any better. The other issue with LED bulbs, sometimes with turn signals you get problems because the turn signal circuit is designed to flash based on the resistance of the bulbs so if you’re using LED bulbs the resistance is different. So sometimes you’l have issues where they won’t flash or blink properly. In this vehicle, that wasn’t the case but it can happen so you do run into problems and many of these aftermarket LED lights, they’re cheaply made so you get what you pay for.

Mark: So these FRS cars look, performance kind of vehicle, what do you think of them?

Bernie: They’re pretty cool, they’re a neat venture, it’s actually a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru, the car’s actually built by Subaru but they took a Subaru boxer engine, a two litre engine and used a Toyota fuel injection system, it’s a dual injection system, a direct and port injection so it kind of has the advantages of both. But yeah, it’s a neat car, front engine, rear wheel drive so you can spin the back end around and they’ve got the appeal of that old fashioned North American performance car but in a nice small vehicle. Very good vehicle, and really reliable.

Mark: A good drifter basically.

Bernie: Yeah, yes exactly for those that like to drive out of control.

Mark: So there you go, if you need some service on your Scion, or your Toyota, or your Subaru, these are guys to come see in Vancouver. Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your next appointment or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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